Ipperwash and Caledonia to Oka
Scottish in Name, but Canadian at Heart
The events at Ipperwash and Caledonia, bare such a significant similitude, that ever since their occurring, mentioning them in the same sentence or article, has become routine. And although, as the title would suggest, the name of the place where the crisis happened, is that of The Land of the Scotts, the things that occurred there are quite similar to an event that took place just five years before, and in the next province over. The place implied, is Oka, and the event mentioned prior, is the Standoff.
The Standoff; if one would take into account only that which the occurrence at Oka had been deemed, and did so likewise for the Ipperwash & Caledonia crisis, then one would find immediately a similarity. The sharing of a name implies surly that share circumstances as well. If one deduced this then they would be in the right, for if none of the events had received any publicity, then it would be rather hard to tell them apart.
People say that one must learn history if one wishes to conquer the future and its problems. However what people do not say, is: “Ok we’ll look back on it but we won’t make an effort to correct our mistakes based on that past experience.” This is certainly applicable to the Ipperwash & Caledonia crisis, seeing as how it was a near repeat of the one at Oka. Their plain, and yet lamentable similarities are as follows: History has an irrepressible way of repeating itself, and this is no different in the case of first nation’s people treaties with the white man; to be specific-and it is regretful that it must be this-land. A land dispute was caused the upset in the first place in both cases-land and the matter of who owned it. In each case, the natives have laid claim to it, and in both cases the white man, (the government), has dismissed their claim.
At Ipperwash, there was a mixture of both natives and non-natives. This means there was also a mixture of opinions, some of them expressed, and obviously some that remained dormant I the minds of their creators. On of the reason why the Ipperwash crisis occurred was because of people expressing their opinions-both sides expressing their opinions. At Ipperwash Provincial Park, a group of Natives camped out/occupied, in order to emphasize their otherwise neglect from officials. They most certainly were not neglected; the police had been expecting this since they had been informed of the potential protest a while back, and as soon as they got reports of the actual break in the occupied the park as well. At first the police were simply going to occupy the park in peaceful unison with the Natives. However, when the natives started to show malice, the police did not know how to cope or what they should, so they pulled out.
Eventually, the police came up with a plan, along with the help of some Government officials that was diplomatic to some extent. Project maple was a plan involving the peaceful removal of all the native occupiers.
Through lack of control however on the part of the O.P.P one Native-last name Douglas- was shot and hence killed.
If one would look at all the occurrences mentioned prior, one would find that much the same thing happened at Oka five years before. One striking difference however between Oka and the more recent event, is the death of a police officer- Marcel Lemier. This event, which is a stain on the otherwise pristine sheet of paper that represents the similarities between the crisis was caused by, coincidentally enough, by a similarity between the two. This similarity is lack of police control.
They may have been lacking control then, however since they are making such a point of us young ones learning it now, (and since it has not happened again as of yet), then control, and equality, is something that wont be omitted in future.